The Sioux Falls Thunder fought back against a three-goal deficit in their away match against the Dakota Fusion this Wednesday. Despite their heroic efforts, the flurry of goals saw the game end in a 4-4 draw.
The Thunder came out swinging, creating the first real opportunity of the game with a corner kick in the third minute played out by the Fusion. The home team responded with pressure in the Thunder half, letting off several shots before finally drawing a foul inside the box. Fusion forward Antonio La Gamba drove the ball low and left from the spot past Thunder keeper Latham Kleckner. The Fusion would follow up less than a minute after the restart with play through the Thunder left side resulting in a shot inside the box from Tre Bonaparte, finding the same corner as the penalty.
The Fusion kept up their tempo after their flurry of goals, earning several more chances in the next few minutes. As the minutes ticked on, the Thunder found their footing again, working back to the opposing goal several times after rapid Fusion attacks. The quick Fusion play would earn Bonaparte a close chance at a second goal as a shot kissed the outer post on its way past Kleckner in the 22nd minute. But Bonaparte would correct that mistake 4 minutes later as he buried the ball from outside the box, making it 3-0 for the Fusion before the 30 minute mark.
The Fusion net heated up thanks to determined team play from the Thunder in the 35th minute. Riley Aarbo kept a long pass from midfielder James Bolger inbounds with effort and beat his defender, sliding the ball across to forward Marcus Horwood. Horwood pivoted and slammed the ball home past the Fusion keeper. Just three minutes later, the Thunder piled into the Fusion box again. A deflected shot bounced toward Brennan Haggerty, who flicked it first touch to Thunder defender Tatsuki Kobayashi, lining him up for a magnificent shot from a distance. The Thunder would attempt to equalize several times before halftime, but the first 45 would see Sioux Falls down 2-3.
As the half resumed, so did the action. A Thunder counterattack in the 51st minute gave Horwood a one-on-one with the Fusion keeper, who left his line early to take the shot to his chest. The Thunder would use intricate play through the defense to attack again only one Fusion possession later, resulting in a foul drawn by Horwood 25 yards out. Tyler Limmer, the Thunder's leading goal scorer, stepped back to take the shot, which fell wide. Again, just one possession later the Thunder had a corner played short and dropped into the box, which was played out, and a Limmer cross sixty seconds later met the same fate.
It felt a long time coming, but the Thunder finally equalized in the 73rd minute with a beautiful buildup culminating in a goal for Aarbo. And like deja vu, a three-minute gap saw yet another Thunder goal and the second one for Marcus Horwood. A run from Eric Beltran to the endline found Horwood inches from the goal, sliding to gain the lead. And yet that lead would only last 20 minutes, and the Fusion would equalize at the last second in stoppage time to end the game 4-4.
The Thunder will return home for the next two Saturday games against Duluth and LaCrosse.